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Can outsourcers really get away with cancelling urgent projects?
Thread poster: Bryan Crumpler

Bryan Crumpler  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:25
Dutch to English
+ ...
Jun 11, 2010

Scenario:

I have had an issue with the same client who on 2 occasions, back to back, canceled a project either in whole or in part long after work had already commenced on the assignment.

The first time they did it, the cancellation was only for part of the document, but I had not yet gotten to that part by the time they notified me. Thus, I indicated that I would not charge for the part that they did not need translating.

The second time they did it, it was for an urgent assignment with a 1-day turnaround. I had already gotten through more than 70% of the file when they had canceled the entire project altogether.


So, can outsourcers really get away with cancelling urgent projects and expect to not to have to pay for work completed?

Here is what consumer laws in my state say for home-solicitation sales:


N.C.G.S. § 25A‑39. Buyer's right to cancel.

(e) The buyer may not cancel a home‑solicitation sale if the buyer requests the seller in a separate writing to provide goods or services without delay because of an urgency or an emergency, and (1) the seller in good faith makes a substantial beginning of performance of the contract before the buyer gives notification of cancellation, ....

(f) A buyer, who has not received delivery of the goods and services from the seller in a home‑solicitation sale within 30 days following the execution of the contract (and such delay is the fault of the seller), shall have the right at any time thereafter before acceptance of the goods and services to rescind the contract



Are there similar laws like this in (parts of) the EU? I'd really like to know, because this client is furious that I will be billing for work completed and I anticipate they will not pay regardless of what invoice I send.


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Mikhail Kropotov  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 07:25
Member (2005)
English to Russian
+ ...
PO? Jun 11, 2010

Not sure about EU laws/regulations on this, but getting paid is a lot easier if you receive a PO before commencing any work. Did you, in this case?

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Bryan Crumpler  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:25
Dutch to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Re: PO Jun 11, 2010

Mikhail Kropotov wrote:

Not sure about EU laws/regulations on this, but getting paid is a lot easier if you receive a PO before commencing any work. Did you, in this case?


In the 1st case, I had a PO. When they canceled a portion, they sent a new PO with no price specification - presumably because they did not know how it would affect the price. In essence, they undercut me without due notice. What if I had already gotten through the part that they canceled, for example?

In the second instance there is written confirmation of agreement with the price and written confirmation of a go-ahead with the assignment. They failed, however, to issue a PO similarly to the one issued prior. I made them aware of this, which is why I am seeking some understanding in statutory laws concerning these types of transactions when there are no explicit cancellation terms or reservation of rights on the order.

[Edited at 2010-06-11 19:22 GMT]


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Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:25
German to English
+ ...
Happens frequently, but if I've started, I get paid. Jun 11, 2010

This happens frequently in financial translations - no deal, no translation. However, I have always gotten paid for the portion completed, and these have been EU clients. I have never had occasion to look up the law on this, but I could ask around if you can't get the information here. Sorry to hear this happened.

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Bryan Crumpler  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:25
Dutch to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Ah OK Jun 11, 2010

Daina Jauntirans wrote:

This happens frequently in financial translations - no deal, no translation. However, I have always gotten paid for the portion completed, and these have been EU clients. I have never had occasion to look up the law on this, but I could ask around if you can't get the information here. Sorry to hear this happened.


Good to know there is a precedent for this...


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Alex Eames
Local time: 04:25
English to Polish
+ ...
Do consumer laws affect business? Jun 11, 2010

Hi Bryan,

For all the times this has ever happened to us we've billed and been paid for the work completed. Any client who disputes this is one you should dump.

I'm not sure if consumer laws apply in this case though Bryan because this is surely a business to business transaction?

There must be some law that covers you though.

Alex Eames
http://www.translatortips.com
helping translators do better business


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:25
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
My experience may or may not be relevant Jun 11, 2010

I once signed a contract without reading it carefully then gave 12 hours' training before the trainee cancelled the rest of the 38-hour course. Unfortunately, the contract stated "payment at the end of the training course" and the company refused to pay anything.

I took them to the French courts, who ruled that the clause was abusive and that hours worked in good faith must be paid for, regardless of the eventual outcome.

HTH


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Alex Eames
Local time: 04:25
English to Polish
+ ...
That's a good common sense result :) Jun 11, 2010

Sheila Wilson wrote:

I once signed a contract without reading it carefully then gave 12 hours' training before the trainee cancelled the rest of the 38-hour course. Unfortunately, the contract stated "payment at the end of the training course" and the company refused to pay anything.

I took them to the French courts, who ruled that the clause was abusive and that hours worked in good faith must be paid for, regardless of the eventual outcome.

HTH


Good common sense result that. Hoping to see a similar outcome for Bryan without any court involvement.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 05:25
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Not a sale Jun 11, 2010

Bryan Crumpler wrote:
Here is what consumer laws in my state say for home-solicitation sales...


This is not relevant, because the out-sourcer isn't selling anything to you. In fact, he is buying from you.


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Bryan Crumpler  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:25
Dutch to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
I don't know Alex... good question Jun 11, 2010

Alex & Malgorzata Eames wrote:

Hi Bryan,

For all the times this has ever happened to us we've billed and been paid for the work completed. Any client who disputes this is one you should dump.

I'm not sure if consumer laws apply in this case though Bryan because this is surely a business to business transaction?

There must be some law that covers you though.

Alex Eames
http://www.translatortips.com
helping translators do better business


This is more or less the information I need...

There must be some kind of laws in the EU preventing people from abusing one's services in this manner.


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Bryan Crumpler  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:25
Dutch to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
You have it backwards Samuel. Jun 11, 2010

Samuel Murray wrote:

Bryan Crumpler wrote:
Here is what consumer laws in my state say for home-solicitation sales...


This is not relevant, because the out-sourcer isn't selling anything to you. In fact, he is buying from you.



It's me selling the translation to the client.

They, as the buyer, have a right to cancel - but not if it concerns a service that is marked urgent and work has already commenced on the project prior to notice of cancellation.


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Alex Eames
Local time: 04:25
English to Polish
+ ...
What country? Jun 11, 2010

Bryan Crumpler wrote:

This is more or less the information I need...

There must be some kind of laws in the EU preventing people from abusing one's services in this manner.


It may not be covered by EU law, but it quite likely is covered by the country's law. Is it Holland or Belgium we're talking about? (I caught your other thread about EU/US).


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Bryan Crumpler  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:25
Dutch to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
The buyer's country... Jun 11, 2010

Alex & Malgorzata Eames wrote:

Bryan Crumpler wrote:

This is more or less the information I need...

There must be some kind of laws in the EU preventing people from abusing one's services in this manner.


It may not be covered by EU law, but it quite likely is covered by the country's law. Is it Holland or Belgium we're talking about? (I caught your other thread about EU/US).



Spain


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LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:25
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Payment for work completed Jun 11, 2010

You should at least get paid for the portion you have completed. In fact, the agency should insist on paying you this amount. If not, stop working for them.

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xxxmediamatrix
Local time: 01:25
Spanish to English
+ ...
YOU have it backwards, Bryan Jun 12, 2010

Bryan Crumpler wrote:

Samuel Murray wrote:

Bryan Crumpler wrote:
Here is what consumer laws in my state say for home-solicitation sales...


This is not relevant, because the out-sourcer isn't selling anything to you. In fact, he is buying from you.



It's me selling the translation to the client.

They, as the buyer, have a right to cancel - but not if it concerns a service that is marked urgent and work has already commenced on the project prior to notice of cancellation.


In most countries, 'home-solicitation' sales refers to the situation where, for example, someone comes knocking on your door, at home, unsolicited by you, the buyer, to sell you a tooth-brush, or fire insurance, or ... whatever.

I'm prepared to bet you didn't sell this translation service after knocking on your client's door - at his home, not his office - and winning him over with a glorious monologue about how marvellous your toothbrushes - ops, sorry: 'translations' - really are.

That kind of legislation won't help you. Standing up for your moral right to be paid for work done in good faith is what counts here - regardless of the legislation in your, or your client's, country.

MediaMatrix


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